This orphaned white rhino calf was gravely injured by poachers, but thanks to emergency surgery and the care of wildlife veterinarian Cobus Raath and his team, little Shangi is on the mend, getting mudbaths, and joyfully running about with her caregivers. From the Smithsonian Channel’s Baby Planet: Human Intervention: Running with Rhinos.
This is a male Sapphirina copepod or Sea Sapphire, transparent and only a few millimeters long, but attention-grabbing when they seem to emit an incredible blue flash. What causes luminous color from nothing? The “microscopic layers of crystal plates inside their cells” catch light and reflect back the violet-blue. Rebecca R. Helmwrites:
Like their namesake gem, different species of sea sapphire shine in different hues, from bright gold to deep blue. Africa isn’t the only place they can be found. I’ve since seen them off the coasts of Rhode Island and California. When they’re abundant near the water’s surface the sea shimmers like diamonds falling from the sky. Japanese fisherman of old had a name for this kind of water, “tama-mizu”, jeweled water…
In the case of blue sea sapphires, these crystal layers are separated by only about four ten thousandths of a millimeter; about the same distance as a wavelength of blue light. When blue light bounces off these crystal layers, it is perfectly preserved and reflected. But for other colors of light, these small differences in distance interfere, causing the colors to cancel out. So while white light is composed of all colors, only blue light is reflected back.
This unusual underwater journey in South Africa involves kayaking legend, French expat, and mad inventor Olivier Feuillette, and a modified kayak. With a waterproof top, a ballast (so that it will sink), scuba tanks for oxygen, a CO2 filter, an oscillating fishtail, and pedals, Feuillette’s SUBO becomes a one-person submarine that’s ready to go where no kayak has gone before.